Who are America’s healthy snackers and how can food brands reach them?
March 24th, 2024, Clifton Mark

Who are America’s healthy snackers and how can food brands reach them?

Snacking has often come under critical scrutiny by the health conscious. But with a large market of health-conscious snackers, brands would do well to develop options that are as good for the body as they are for the palate.

According to a new YouGov report, one in three Americans (32%) not only say they snack between meals, but also that they often choose diet or healthy versions of their favorite products. These hungry healthy humans are younger, on the whole, than the average American. Two-thirds of healthy snackers fall into the 18-44 age range, whereas only 34% of them are 45 or older.

Healthy snackers are also more likely than not to be parents, with 58% having at least one child (vs. 41% who have none). They’re also relatively equally divided between the genders (52% men, 48% women).

What are healthy snackers eating and what are their biggest food concerns?

When healthy snackers head to the kitchen between meals, they’re often looking for fruit and vegetables, with 72% saying they eat them at least once per week. However, healthy snackers are not beyond regularly indulging in chips (61%), cookies (47%) and ice cream (38%).

That this group is both interested in their health and fond of chips and ice cream hints at big opportunities for brands that can provide healthy versions of these snacks.

When it comes to planning meals, healthy snackers’ top concern is, unsurprisingly, how healthy the food is, with half of them (52%) saying they take it into consideration when deciding what to eat.

However, health isn’t the only thing this group cares about. More than two in five consider preparation time (44%), convenience (44%) and cost (41%) into account when deciding what to eat. Healthy snackers want to be good to their bodies, but don’t want to spend too much time or effort to do it.

Sponsorships and social feeds: how brands can reach healthy snackers

When it comes to advertising and media, healthy snackers have a distinctive profile. They are much more likely to buy products from the sponsors of their favorite sports teams than the general population (54% vs. 31%). They are also more likely to favor brands that are willing to get involved in social issues (66% vs. 46%).

When it comes to media, healthy snackers really stand out in their attitudes to music and art. Half of healthy snackers agree that a music artist’s social channels are the most important place to check (50%) compared to less than a third of the general population (29%). Healthy snackers are also much more likely to know emerging musicians (49% vs. 29%) and to discover new artist before their friends (54% vs. 34%).

So where should brands try to reach healthy snackers? The data suggests that reaching them on their favorite artists’ social feeds or sponsoring their teams would be ideal.

However, on a more general level, billboards (23%), podcasts (22%) and movie theaters (21%) all grab healthy snackers’ attention much more than that of the general population.

This suggests that advertising on these channels may be effective when trying to reach this segment. For example, while 21% of healthy snackers say movie theaters are an ad channel that grabs their attention, only 15% of all Americans agree with the same.

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today.

Explore our living data – for free

Discover more FMCG content here

Want to run your own research? Run a survey now

Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for USA is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.